This past weekend, like other years past, I took my children trick or treating. Well, let me clarify…I took my youngest trick or treating. The eldest went with her friends since, for the most part, she is too old to be seen walking around with her mother.
And so, it was just Abby and I who traipsed around the neighborhood, begging for candy.
This year, Abby worked particularly hard on her costume. She is a huge fan of Dr. Who and this year, wanted to be the TARDIS. Now, I have no idea what it is or what it means but if you ask Abby, she’ll give you the full run down…when it’s used, how it’s used, the pro’s and con’s of it…
What I did know is that we needed a box to complete the costume. A quick request on Facebook turned into a trip to a friend’s house where I was able to pick up a wardrobe box she’d just used when moving into her new house.
Abby had major plans for her costume. She gave me a list of supplies and began working on painting said box two weeks before the October 31 deadline. Each night, she would spend an hour or so in the garage working on her costume. Toward the end, when it began to resemble something like a phone booth, I was not even allowed to peek. The day before Halloween, she held the big reveal in my kitchen.
I was astonished. My daughter stood before me in a blue box that was decorated so well, it could have been used as a prop in a Dr. Who production. She’d painted it blue, put “windows” all around in white, and detailed everything with black paint. Though I feared what my garage floor looked like, I smiled and cheered when she stuck her arms through the holes on the side of the box and pulled her head through the top. She was a TARDIS. Truly.
Even her sister, who normally torments her constantly, smiled and admitted the costume was pretty “swag.” Elder daughter even stood for a photo op.
Abby was beyond thrilled with her costume.
Saturday evening quickly approached and I feel certain that, if I’d allowed it, Abby would have put on her costume that morning and hug around my living room in it all day. Luckily, we had errands to run so we held off putting the costume on until later in the afternoon. I knew once it was on, there would be no way to stop her from heading out the door.
Once the appropriate time arrived, we headed out.
That’s when we realized we hadn’t thought about the actual walking part of being in a cardboard box….
Poor Abby hobbled up and down the streets of my neighborhood for the better part of three hours. She managed to pull in an entire bag of candy but the process was nearly unbearable to watch. With every step, the front of her ankle kicked the front part of the box, making it tug on her arms and neck. It simply wore her out. At each corner, she had to take a break by resting the box on her road while she hunched down inside of it.
I”m still thankful that older sister went trick or treating with her friends because there is no way she would have tolerated the slow pace in which Abby went from house to house. Curbs? Yeah, those were a nightmare. Hills? Don’t even get me started. I would have driven her around but the box wouldn’t fit in the minivan with her in it!
Abby didn’t utter a word of complaint. And you know why?
Because she made the costume herself. Every parent knows that if you have any part in whatever it is that is irritating your child, you are solely to blame. Because I wasn’t allowed to even look at the costume, let alone help with it, there was no one else to hold accountable for the all around pain the ass that costume was.
And believe me, it was a HUGE pain in the ass.
Donna Small if the author of three novels: Just Between Friends, A Ripple in the Water, and Through
Rose Colored Glasses. She lives in Clemmons, NC where she is at work on her next novel.